Art Industry News: André Leon Talley Says His Old Boss Andy Warhol Predicted Selfies + Other Stories

Plus, Osaka ends its sister city ties with San Francisco over a comfort women memorial and Kerry James Marshall won't paint "black people in trauma."

Andre Leon Talley. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Thursday, October 4.


The Controversial Pro-Refugee Obelisk in Kassel Was Dismantled in the Night – At dawn on a national holiday, the city of Kassel dismantled Olu Oguibe’s controversial Monument to Strangers and Refugees. The artist had launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the permanent installation of the work, which features the Bible verse “I was a stranger and you took me in,” but the city voted last month to remove it.  (HNA)

Why Kerry James Marshall Avoids Showing ‘Black People in Trauma’ – As Kerry James Marshall opens a new show at David Zwirner London, he spoke about his decision to depict cheerful scenes from black people’s everyday lives. Whereas “white people seem to like themselves” throughout art history, “we don’t think of black people and joy,” he said.  (Financial Times)

André Leon Talley Says His Old Boss Andy Warhol Predicted Selfies – The former Vogue editor reminisces about his early days in New York working as a receptionist for Warhol’s Interview magazine. “Long before social media, Warhol’s photographs anticipated the rise of selfie culture and the drive to record one’s every moment,” he writes. “These quick exposures were never cruel or mean; they simply documented what an extraordinary time it was to be in New York and in the universe of Warhol.” (Business of Fashion)

Roald Dahl’s Matilda Stands Up to Donald Trump in a New Sculpture– As the beloved character from Dahl’s book Matilda turns 30, a survey from the Roald Dahl Story Company found that 42 percent of respondents believed that the unjust authority figure she’d be standing up to today would be not Miss Trunchbull, but the US president. A statue depicting the pair has been installed near the late artist’s house in Buckinghamshire. (The Independent)


Kandinsky Paintings Will Headline Sotheby’s Fall Sale in New York  – The auction house announced the marquee works for their upcoming Impressionist and Modern auction in New York: a $90 million cache featuring Fauvist and German Expressionist masterpieces, namely three works by Wassily Kandinsky, some which were on loan to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London for 15 years. (Press Release)

How Auctioneers Deal With Invisible Buyers – Online bidding has become an integral part of the auction business, especially at lower price points, and it accounts for a full quarter of sales at Sotheby’s this year. What’s good for business can be a lot less fun—and predictable— for auctioneers, however.  (The New York Times)

32-Year-Old Bottle of Whiskey Tops $1 Million at Auction – Bonhams set a new record for whiskey at auction with the £848,750 ($1.1 million) sale of a bottle of Macallan Valerio Adami 1926, named for the Italian Pop artist Valerio Adami, who designed the label for the edition of 12. At least one of the other bottles is believed to have been destroyed in Japan’s 2011 earthquake and one is thought to have been drunk. (Art Daily)

Einstein’s Letter on God Hits the Auction Block – A handwritten letter written the year before Einstein died, in 1955, will be sold on December 4 at Christies, priced at a whopping $1.5 million. Einstein wrote the letter to the German philosopher Eric Gutkind and it includes his musings on religion, life, and the quest for meaning. (ArtDaily)


Jane Fortune, Advocate for Female Renaissance Artists, Has Died – The American philanthropist and arts advocate passed away at age 76 from ovarian cancer. Fortune founded the group Advancing Women Artists, to help restore the names and works of forgotten female artists of the Renaissance. Through her organization, more than 58 works of art have been restored in Florence. (New York Times)

Iranian Artist Shirin Alibadia Has Died – Alibadia, who was born in 1973, was known for depicting women and girls in her native Iran, defying Islamic modesty standards in the photography series “Girls in Cars.” Her gallery, Dubai’s Third Line Gallery, wrote on Instagram that “Shirin will always be remembered for her kind soul, the depth of her work and the mark she left on the world.” (The Art Newspaper)

The V&A Wants to Revamp the Museum of Childhood  – The Victoria & Albert Museum unveiled a £13.5 million ($17.5 million) proposal to revamp one of its offshoots, the East London-based Museum of Childhood. The architectural firm De Matos Ryan will spearhead the project, teasing plans for immersive and interactive installations and a re-landscaped outdoor area. (Evening Standard)

Osaka Breaks Up With Sister City San Francisco Over Comfort Women Memorial – Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura has ended a 60-year sister city relationship with San Francisco over the US’s first “Comfort Women” statue in a major city. Other memorials—and a photo exhibition—have attracted similar controversy, with Japan denying that its Imperial Army was ever officially involved in the sexual enslavement of hundreds of thousands of women and girls during World War II. (The Guardian)


Is the PaintCopter the New Banksy? – Disney Research has imagineered a whole new approach to graffiti. The PaintCopter drone has spray-painting abilities that allow it tag walls and three-dimensional objects. The company said the drone “could replace the need for scaffolding and ladders during large painting projects,” but for now it plans just to use the technology for industrial projects. (BBC)

Naomi Watts Shows Off Her Walls – The English actress comes from a family of artists and began collecting work herself after cashing checks from early films like King Kong and The Ring. A board member of the New York Academy of Art, Watts’s collection includes work by Harland Miller, Hugo Guinness, Will Cotton, and Liz Markus, among other artists. (New York TImes)

A New Mapplethorpe Biopic Aims to Be ‘as Beautiful as His Work’ – Branching out from documentary to narrative cinema, Timoner shot her new Robert Mapplethorpe biopic on celluloid because “it was so important that the film be as beautiful as his work, and I really didn’t think we could accomplish that without film.” The movie, starring British actor Matt Smith of The Crown and Dr. Who, will close out Atlanta’s Out on Film festival on October 6. (Burnaway)

See Christian Marclay’s Designs for Celine – At Paris Fashion Week, Hedi Slimane made his runway debut with Celine’s collection with garments that featured embroidered designs by Christian Marclay, the Swiss artist behind the popular 24-hour video installation The Clock. (Instagram)

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